Roanoke Island

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Related to Roanoke Island: Croatoan

Roanoke Island

Roanoke Island, 12 mi (19 km) long and 3 mi (4.8 km) wide, NE N.C., off the Atlantic coast between Croatan (W) and Roanoke (E) sounds in the Outer Banks. Manteo is the chief town, and tourism and fishing are the principal industries.

The English navigators Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe, exploring for Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, brought back such glowing accounts that Raleigh dispatched a colonizing expedition under Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Ralph Lane. The colonists landed on Roanoke Island in Aug., 1585, and built the “Citie of Ralegh” (or New Fort), but they returned to England the next year. In 1587 Raleigh sent another group under John White. Forced to return to England for supplies, White was unable to return until 1591, when he found the colonists gone and the letters CROATOAN carved on a tree. This gave rise to a theory that the settlers had moved to Croatoan Island or had joined the Croatoan or Hatteras Native Americans.

Another theory was later advanced with the discovery (1937–40) of some 40 stone tablets inscribed with what some believe to be the history of the “lost colony.” The inscriptions tell of the death of many of the colonists (including Virginia Dare) from disease and Native American attacks and of the migration of others into the country's interior, as far away as Atlanta, Ga. The stones' authenticity, however, is questionable. In 1998 scientists said that a study of tree rings showed that the colonists had faced one of the worst droughts in the area's history.

Archaeologists at Fort Raleigh National Historic Site (see National Parks and Monuments, table) uncovered many artifacts of the colony during the late 1940s; Festival Park in Manteo recreates the failed first settlement. In 1937 Paul Green's symphonic drama The Lost Colony was presented to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the landing of White's colony; it is now staged annually.


See K. O. Kupperman, Roanoke: The Abandoned Colony (1984).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Roanoke Island

an island off the coast of North Carolina: site of the first attempted English settlement in America. Length: 19 km (12 miles). Average width: 5 km (3 miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
But after supply ships failed to reach the colonists on Roanoke Island, these dejected inhabitants returned to England.
For example, the series of Union naval victories in 1861-62--Hatteras Inlet, Port Royal, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, New Orleans, Roanoke Island, and Memphis--are shown as a tonic for Northerners at a time when the land war seemed lost in one disaster after another.
In a thoughtful contribution, Nicholas Luccketti surmises the resourcefulness of Thomas Harriot, the scientist with Walter Raleigh's expedition to Roanoke Island. Harriot likely suggested that the Jamestown sponsors should fashion homeland copper into native ornaments for the Indian trade market.
Other towns where 4G LTE will initially be available include Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Manteo (Roanoke Island), Nags Head, Rodanthe, Southern Shores and Wanchese.
A trip for her mother's work to North Carolina's Roanoke Island, the site of the Lost Colony where ninety men, seventen women, and eleven children disappeared sometime between 1587 and 1590, presents the perfect opportunity for research -- and adventure.
Other Outer Banks highlights include strolling the gorgeous Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island, as well as parasailing, jet skiing, kite boarding and visiting the Wright Brothers Memorial.
He was living in the fishing village of Wanchese on Roanoke Island.
1587: Virginia Dare became the first child born of English parents in the New World - on Roanoke Island, in what would become North Carolina - seven days after Sir Walter Raleigh's second expedition landed.
It is performed in an outdoor amphitheater appropriately named Waterside Theatre that is perched on the shoreline of Roanoke Island within what is now the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
The disappearance of the first English settlers in America, on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, is an enduring puzzle debated by many authors.
Author of several books on early Virginia, Horn takes a new look at the fate of the lost English colony at Roanoke Island, and comes away with a far more substantial explanation of the mystery than have previous writers.
The biological research will be conducted by dive teams from the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the Outer Banks Dive Center, Ocean Explorer Charters, and Associated Design.

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